Words cannot even describe how grateful we are for the amazing community we live in. This year, Evan was chosen as a recipient, for the second time, for the Possum Queen Contest. Many friends, family and gracious community members came together for this 22nd annual event. Together as a community their goals were to raise money for our family and 3 others who are facing challenges with overwhelming medical care and the finances associated with it.
In December 2010, when we were told Evan was chosen as one of the beneficiaries for the 2011 event, we were very excited, but still were unsure of how ‘The Possum Queen Contest” worked. It all started over 20 years ago when two men, Billy Neller and Brent Hawkins, were ‘bored and in need of a New Year’s Day drink’, which resulted in a few bribes and then later morphed into a charity for families in need after one of their friends had a child who was born with a medical condition.
"The Possum Queen Contest has been referred to as an “accidental charity” and its first event turned out to be more of a party than a fundraiser". The event was given its name ‘as a joke’ based on the Beverly Hillbillies TV show and their Possum Day Festival. This fundraiser was hosted at a local bar & restaurant, which later moved ‘uptown’ to The Village Restaurant for many years and has gotten so large, that it is now celebrated at The Litchfield Inn.
Unfortunately, I had never heard about this event until Evan was chosen as a recipient. Experiencing ‘The Possum Queen Contest’ on ‘Possum Day’ is a fun filled, exciting, and silly fundraiser full of positive energy with extremely kind and generous people who are dedicated to help the families involved. It has evolved into a fundraiser which includes a live and silent auction as well as teams who raise money and perform skits in hopes to earn the Possum Queen title. The skits that are performed, are incredibly entertaining, and are judged by Billy and Brent who will name the winning group the “Possum Queen”, after “bribing” the judges, with donations, of course!!!! It is a day to relax, have fun and help people who are in need all at the same time.
We feel so fortunate to live in THIS community. We are so blessed to have such wonderful, caring and selfless people in our lives. The first Possum Queen Contest I experienced was great. I was still a bit ‘over protective’ of Evan and his condition and it was really the first time we talked about Ichthyosis with the community. This year, now being more comfortable talking about his condition and caring for it, I was able to really enjoy the event and ‘relax’ a bit more. (For Possum Day ‘relax’ really means have a drink)
Though this year, I was also much more emotional as well. Now being more comfortable with Evan’s care I feel I have ‘let my wall come down’ a bit. Now that I know Evan will ‘be ok’ under my care, has caused my emotions to finally come out. When Evan was first born, I would not let myself get sad and rarely cried. I stayed strong and positive for my little warrior. Now some of those ‘left over’ emotions come out at times.
The emotional feeling I get when I think of what an amazing, caring and generous community we live in brings tears to my eyes. These emotions I cherish. We are so incredibly grateful to everyone who is involved with the Possum Queen event. Now we are hooked for life and cannot wait to be a part of this fundraiser in order to help other families in the years to come.
And of course a message from Evan:
Here are a few video clips from some of the silly skits performed in hopes to earn the Possum Queen title. Or click here see some great photo slide shows and more video clips.